Tag Archives: Dare Mighty Things

KCCD Daring Mighty Things. Happy Fourth.

BC opened the Outdoor Theater for the first time since COVID with the Airforce Band – thank you Mary Jo Pasek. It was a beautiful evening listening to patriotic songs and seeing our community out enjoying the college campus and programs. Here is a 1-minute glimpse of the evening. What a way to start the July 4th weekend and a new chapter in my professional life.

On July 1st, I started my new position — deeply grateful for the outpouring of support and messages from friends and colleagues. We do live in a very special community.

And on my first weekend in my new role the country celebrates new beginnings — our nation’s birthday.

I suspect you will enjoy this article on History.com as much as I did.

I did not know that John Adams expected our yearly celebration to be on July 2? The actual vote for independence took place on that date, but the Continental Congress didn’t formally adopt the Declaration of Independence until two days later, on July 4, 1776.

In a letter to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, he wrote:

“But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The feuding ex-presidents died within hours of one another. Thomas Jefferson died first. Historians believe John Adams’ last words were “Thomas Jefferson survives,” as he hadn’t learned of Jefferson’s death.

The tradition of setting off fireworks on July 4 goes all the way back to July 4, 1777 – one year after the signing. In Philadelphia, the festivities began with a ship blasting 13 cannons (in honor of the 13 colonies). Additional fireworks were set off by the Sons of Liberty in Boston Common.

Happy Fourth all!

July 1, 2021 a selfie in my new office

Good morning, friends…
It is July 3, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

On April 19, 2021 Trustee President Romeo Agbalog publicly introduced the sixth Chancellor of KCCD.

Sonya Christian with trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Kay Meek, Yovani Jimenez
5th Chancellor Tom Burke, 6th Chancellor Sonya Christian

As it happens, also on April 19th a helicopter named Ingenuity made the first flight ever on another world — thank you Nick Strobel for making sure I am up-to-date on celestial happenings! Earlier when the Perseverance rover that carried the Ingenuity helicopter to Mars was landing, a coded message to “Dare Mighty Things” was discovered on the parachute that delivered the rover close to the Martian terrain. Apparently the scientists and engineers at NASA are notorious pranksters and are known to hide “Easter eggs” on spacecrafts.

The phrase to “Dare Mighty Things” comes from a longer Teddy Roosevelt quote:

“Far better is it to dare mighty things,
to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure …
than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much,
because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian

This week, the Coyotes, the Pirates and the Renegades continue to Dare Mighty Things:

Cerro Coso Community College

Incarcerated Student Education Program (ISEP) student earns writing award

Patrick Larmour, an ISEP student, participated in the USC Underground Writing Project. His piece, “The Art of Killing Monsters,” was ranked 1st place out of 177 submissions.

The writing contest asked for a 1000 word essay on how education has positively impacted their lives. Larmour is also one of twenty-six Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) members to have his writing published in the 2019 issue of PTK’s online literary journal, Nota Bene.

Here’s an excerpt from his piece:

“I simply could not handle hating myself anymore. Something had to change. It was around this time that California began offering college inside prisons. I signed up, eager to have some distraction from my depression. Little did I know that this decision would change my life. Amazingly, each class I took seemed to teach me something new about myself.”

You can read the full submission in the July Edition of the Coyote Howler.

Students of the Year

I’d like to take this moment to congratulate the three students selected as Cerro Coso’s Site Students of the Year: Noa Lish for Eastern Sierra College Center, Morgan Green for KRV Lake Isabella, and Maya Plata for East Kern.

The ‘Site Student of the Year” awards recognize those students who have made a significant contribution to their own education as well as the campus community.

Enjoy the videos honoring these outstanding students.

Noa Lish:

Morgan Green:

Maya Plata:

Information about all of this year’s Cerro Coso Student Award winners can be found at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/studentservices/2021-spring-awards-student-awards.

“Cheers to Charity” event will benefit Cerro Coso students

Tickets are still available for the Cheers to Charity event planned for August 14 at Aviator Park in Tehachapi Airport. Cerro Coso Community College is among the Tehachapi Non-Profits that will benefit from this year’s event.

Buy your tickets today at www.cheerstocharity2021.eventbrite.com.

Porterville College

PC Receives Large Gift from MacKenzie Scott Foundation in support of “Empowering Voices”

Porterville College received a $7 million gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett, which will provide support for our continuing efforts to educate underserved students and communities.

In a post on her website, MacKenzie Scott identified Porterville College as one of “286 Teams Empowering Voices the World Needs to Hear”. 

“Higher education is a proven pathway to opportunity, so we looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved,” she wrote.

Over the next few months, Porterville College will consult with various stakeholders, about where to target this wonderful investment.  

Reagen Dozier selected for national fellowship program

Reagen Dozier, the new Title V Program Director at PC, was selected for the US Department of Agriculture’s E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program.

The program’s goal is to offer experiences in policymaking and research through direct interaction with USDA agencies. Attendees met with USDA representatives over Zoom to learn about programs and create networking connections.

PC to give students additional flexibility with HyFlex Courses this fall

In order to provide equity for those students with hectic schedules and lifestyles, Porterville College is expanding opportunities for learning with a new type of course offering being made available this coming Fall Semester.

HyFlex classes offer weekly sessions in three ways. Each week, students can choose to take a HyFlex class in-person on campus, watch the lectures online with other students in a weekly live zoom meeting, or watch a recording later according to the student’s own schedule.

This HyFlex concept is being piloted in classes this Fall semester. Check out http://www.PortervilleCollege.edu for a complete list of available sections.

Bakersfield College

Gerry Haslam Honored with history award

Gerry Haslam

Gerry Haslam, one of BC’s more famous alums, was posthumously recognized as the 2021 recipient of the American Association for State and Local History Award of Excellence for Individual Achievement.

Gerry, who passed away earlier this year, wrote novels, short stories, essays, biographies, and nonfiction works about rural and small-town California in the San Joaquin Valley. He was always generous in sharing his time and talents with BC.

Jerry Ludeke sent along an email from Gerry’s wife, Jan, about the award:

“Dear Friends,  It is with great pride and pleasure that we announce that Gerry has won an American Association for State and Local History Award of Excellence for Individual Achievement.  We’re just sorry that he isn’t here to acknowledge it.   Sincerely, Jan”

A2MEND Battle of the Field 7-on-7 and Lineman Challenge

This past weekend over 120 high school athletes were on campus to compete in the first A2MEND Battle of the Field 7-on-7 and Lineman Challenge. The competition came down to South High vs Frontier High in the finals, with Frontier winning the championship and taking home the hardware. Frontier Lineman won the lineman challenge, making it a clean sweep! Congratulations to Frontier High and all the teams that took part in the event.

Not only did this event facilitate healthy competition, but it informed the community about all the amazing things happening at BC.

If you are interested in partnering with or learning more about A2MEND, please contact Daron Mackey at daron.mackey@bakersfieldcollege.edu

Poetry Corner

Let’s hear from our favorite author and poet who contributes regularly to my blog, Dr. Jack Hernandez:

                                      Visions

                             When the future is short

                             we have few steps left,

                             the seeds we have planted

                             have few remaining

                             clinging to shallow soil.

                             Their flowers we must see,

                             their bright colors

                             our remaining visions

                             sealed upon our hearts

                             as special gifts.

In the News

Sierra View helps train the registered nurses of tomorrow

Check out this article from the Valley Voice about Sierra View Medical Center’s Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program, which helps ensure new graduate nurses are better equipped to provide care and make clinical choices for their patients. 

To date, 50 nurses have completed the program – and 35 of those came from Porterville College!

17-year-old perseveres to graduate from PC – then high school

Check out this article by Esther Avila in the Porterville Recorder about Candelaria Sanchez, who earned her Associate of Arts degree from Porterville College last December – 6 months before she graduates from Summit Collegiate High School.

“I’m a first generation (going to college) and I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come and where I come from,” Sanchez said. “I decided that I was going to put in the effort and break those generational curses. Although it has happened in my family for generations, it does not need to continue with me — and it won’t.”

Nine graduate from Cerro Coso before high school

This article in the Tehachapi news shares the story of 9 students who earned their degrees from Cerro Coso shortly before their high school graduations. Two of the students attended the college’s Tehachapi Campus, one from the online program, and seven from the Mammoth Lakes Campus.

Taking Cerro Coso classes really helped me get prepared for university. I am going to UC San Diego this fall, and because I was able to graduate high school with my associate’s degree, I have saved thousands of dollars by taking classes I would have had to take my first two years at college for free during high school. I genuinely feel more prepared, by taking freshman English and math classes at Cerro Coso and doing well in them, I know I can be successful at a four-year university.” – Student Isla Lackey

Looking back at the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes: where we’ve been, where we’re going

Sunday and Monday mark the 2-year anniversary of the historic earthquakes that hit the Ridgecrest area in 2019. The earthquake on July 4 had a magnitude of 6.4 The next day, another earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 hit the area.

I wanted to share this article in the Ridgecrest Daily Independent looking back at the earthquakes and showing how the city has recovered, and is still working to recover.

Bakersfield College to offer free one-week courses that provide public health certificate

The Bakersfield Californian and KGET shared the news about BC’s new one-week courses that will allow students the chance to earn a Certificate of Achievement in Public Health.

The first courses begin July 19. Support and help to get registered is available through BC’s Student Information Desk.

Community Voices: A fond recollection of a Renaissance Man

Bakersfield College professor emeritus Peggy DeStefano wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about her friendship with Chuck Wall. Longtime BC professor Chuck Wall, Bakersfield’s “Kindness Ambassador”, passed away on June 8.

“Chuck Wall and I gravitated to one another on the first day of the academic year at the new faculty orientation at Bakersfield College. I met Chuck, a member of the business faculty who exuded charisma and collegiality. From the outset, we shared an eclectic and expansive sense of humor and didn’t take ourselves too seriously. “

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

No Sister Left Behind shared this post on Facebook honoring outgoing KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke:

“We are truly grateful to the retiring Chancellor, Thomas J. Burke and Kern Community College District for becoming a Corporate Sponsor of the NSLB Higher Education Empowerment Program. Special added thanks to Danielle Hillard, KCCD and Vikki Coffee.

Butterfield Charter School shared a post thanking Porterville College program technician Monica Daniels, who visited PUSD Summer School to share information with students about PC:

Carlos Medina shared this photo from the BC INDA student visit to GAF Roofing’s Shafter plant:

Escaped the heat for a few days at the beach

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Photo by Alex Horvath

That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a very joyful and grateful Chancellor